Winning Smile and a Really Big Kiln

Josh Josh

Josh is a buddy of mine from the days of  old when we were baby art makers.  Since then, he’s grown up, completed various ceramics programs and has really “gone for it” in the world of hand-crafted pottery.  I think he’s destined to be a big success.  He’s got the drive (or the fire, as I like to say), he’s a natural networker, innovative in creating a community around craft and his work is awesome.

Bowl by Josh Lidded Jar By Josh Jar by Josh

What does all this have to do with books you say?  Well, it’s no secret that Josh is also an avid visual journaler.  He was having problems with stuffing machine made books too full of mixed media finds and popping the binding.  So, we came up with a Copus book design that would allow him to pack them good and full.

Below is an example of how crazy his journals where turning out before we modified the structure.  See what I mean! You could lay your head down and take a nap on this thing.

Big Ol' Fat Book Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page

This is what we came up with; fewer pages and more substantial spaces between each signature.

Journals Before they are Filled Detail of Space Between the Signatures

Josh is a member of Clay Space Studios in the River Arts District here in Asheville, NC.  He is also participating in an upcoming show at the Blue Spiral called Fall Salon.  The opening is October 1st, 2009 and runs through December.

Flyer for Fall Salon

Emolyn Knits

My dear little sister (she’s not that little any more) has created her own blog called, Emolyn Knits: Handmade, Custom Designed Knitwear.  She is an up-and-coming, second generation knit garment designer and her work is lovley! (We grew up on a small sheep farm with a mother whose profession is spinning, knitting and natural dying; clearly it rubbed off on Emolyn)

This last year she’s been taking on some pretty large projects; the most intensive being a custom-fit knitted dress with a hood.

Jessica's Dress #1 Jessica's Dress #2 Jessica's Dress #3 Jessica's Dress #4

As many of you artists out there understand, sometimes it takes a while before your destined craft form finds you.  This appears to be it for her.  It’s a wonderful thing to see.

Hat for Steven Top of Steven's Hat

You may run into her knitting away on the subway in NYC.  If you do, tell her howdy from her big sis.

Subway Knitter Herself again Herself at Yarn Circle

Painter Extraordinaire: Ian Brownlee

I really enjoy trading with fellow artists for work that neither party could afford otherwise.  It’s a great way to share, support and receive inspiration within your creative community without money being involved.  Ian Brownlee and I arranged to trade work well before we became dear friends.  I think it was actually one of our first conversations; to trade a painting inspired by “home” and “rain” for a large, hand-embroidered sketchbook.  The following is what resulted:

rd7-1 Ian's Fancy Pants Book Front of Ian's Book

Ian is inspiring to me in many ways:
-His work is amazing (simply put)
-He is incredibly dedicated and is prolific as a result
-He is versatile; creating both wall paintings and mural projects
-He is one of the most authentic people I know and it clearly shows in his work

Dying Words Painting #8Immersion

If you’re in the Asheville area be sure to checkout this work at Gallery Minerva and a new group show called On The Verge at the Asheville Area Arts Council.  You can also find one of his murals at Rosetta’s Kitchen on Lexington.

Here is an article by Brian Gallagher for WNC magazine.

Painting by IanThe Heroes Journey

Bookbinder on Local TV

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by Ursula Gullow, producer of our local Art Seen Asheville cable tv slot, to participate in an upcoming episode. Her projects typically feature artists, musician, writers and performers of Asheville. Her theme for this project was needles and her chosen artists were a tattoo artist, a DJ and a bookbinder. Can you guess which one was me?

As you might expect I felt a little shy about diving into my first tv experience, but it was actually lots of fun (luckily my performer within kicked in and left my shy self in the dust). Ursula is herself a painter and very involved in the rich artist community here in Asheville. Her goal is to create a show that is sensitive to artists and produced in a down-to-earth style that’s meant to be engaging and informative. The result was just that.

To checkout the 8 minute “bookbinder” portion of the show:

*For the complete version, tattoos and all, go to:

*To find out more about Art Seen Asheville visit or write to [email protected]

*If you are curious about Ursula and her fabulous paintings check out